Catamount Cyclocross Day 2 Race Report

Alrighty, so we're doing these in reverse chronological order because I have much less to say about the second race, but much more awesome seat cam footage ready to go, thanks to Jerry's ability to bang out workshopy stuff the way I bang out websites.

The new extra-steady seat cam is much improved. Check it out! All credit goes to Jerry, I just whined about my "cross gut" while he welded stuff.

Catamount Cyclocross Day 2 Lap 1 from colin reuter on Vimeo.

As for the actual race, I had high hopes for slick carnage while listening to the rain overnight, but the course was disappointingly tacky by the time Elite Men hit the course at 3pm. The corners were kind of tricky but the defining feature was straight, bumpy false-flat climbs.

Last year I complained about this and then went out and got 2nd place anyway. Yeah, well, this year I have a UCI License, and thus I'm back to whining about power sections, and unlike last year it's for good reason. I was looking at Simon Lambert-Lemay's calves while I was trying to draft him and I think they are as big as my thighs.

Anyway! Race goes off, I'm in the fourth row out of 40+ starters, Ryan spends most of the holeshot screaming with glee and is never seen again after the first turn. I settle into the conga line in the mid-20s without incident.

The first excitement comes on the top field when there's a crash behind me, and then Nathaniel gets jacked sideways in the groove (if you raced, you know how dangerous the muddy groove was in traffic) and everyone breaks rank trying to avoid him. The disgust on his face when's he's caught behind me on the next turn as we bottleneck is priceless. Yeah, being at the back with scrubs like me sucks, huh?

The switchbacky descent was fun, although I couldn't pass anyone on it. I am still somewhat intimidated by the "elites" and thus I let people get away with taking lines that a more... Myerson-ish... rider would jump all over. Ah well. I'm hoping Cary upgrades soon so I'll have someone I actually want to elbow in the pack.

Now where was I? I made some sweet moves on the BMX track to get some places and zero sweet moves anywhere else on the course. I was in the thick of the biggest group on the course, killing myself to try to get across to a group of 5 or 6 with Pete Smith ahead, while there was another train of 6 or 7 behind me. I was not bored, which you can't take for granted on a course this lame*.

Anyway, the pain factor was high as usual, but I was certainly planning on trying to keep it going for sixty minutes. Planning being the operative word. When I realized I had a softening rear tire near the end of lap 2 (on Linnea's brand new Fangos! dammit!), the prospect of my fifth mechanical in four races broke my spirit.

I successfully managed to avoid doing the emo-bike-throw or emo-crying-on-the-handlebars, but I did decide to drop out instead of go get my pit bike. I regretted it about 60 minutes later, good thing it's only six days until Gloucester!

* - I mean, I'll race anything you put in front of me, but I don't see the point of making a 10 minute lap that's mostly on the backside of a hill. Worst spectator course ever.


Bob T. said…
At last, the return of Seat Cam! It is now, officially, cross season.
RMM said…
If I didn't know better, I'd think that you were a recent graduate of the PVB College of Bicycle Repair.

You looked good out there on Saturday, before't your bike explode?
G-ride said…
hooray seat cam!!
G-ride said…
two things:

1. That rear hub HAS TO GO. For the love of god.

2. People with/riding top mounts are very visually distracting, and otherwise annoying to look at (until they wipe out from cornering on the tops). Please avoid riding near them in the future, or edit them out.


The Viewing Public
Colin R said…
I know, that hub is super annoying. It's Linnea's Chris King wheelset. It's not really that loud until you put a camera directly over it. My god!

But anyway I won't ride those wheels much, if ever, they aren't mine. I should have my own mud setup ready to go next time.
JB said…
CK says put a teaspoon of suspension fork oil into the guts of the hub to quiet it down.
Cosmo said…
I like the flecks of shpoo that fly off on the descent. They'd look a lot better in HD, though.
Colin R said…
I'm considering getting an HD Flip. Then I could run two cameras and be an even bigger dork than before.
megA said…
That was seriously fun to watch. You have NO problems moving up through the pack--through flora, fauna, corners, uphills, downhills. Very nice!

I also, though, like the hub noise. If other people don't perhaps they should mute their computer. But the clips and pops and whirrrrs are all music to my ears. Can you imagine those laid over a great techno track? Awwwww yeaaaaaaaahhhhh.

Colin R said…
God, I ate so many bushes on the first lap.
Anonymous said…
Seconding Cosmo. The castoffs from the rear tire give it an old timey cinema effect. May I suggest a sepiatone version with intertitles and silent film music?
Nathaniel Ward said…
Ha! I'll bet I looked grumpy, I shouldn't take myself so seriously :-) It's tough in that moment when you have to resign yourself to a couple of laps of chasing, though and being stuck in traffic after a mishap or crash always feels unfair when you feel like you *should* be further up. But then again I *should* not fall off my bike, and problem solved, eh? And bummer about your flat. Gloucester looms...
Wheels said…
Oh snap! That's me rocking the top mounts and causing the wreck behind you. I was on the slow train backwards and got sent sideways into the group behind me at that wide turn around the puddle. My bad. You had a good race going Sunday, sorry you couldn't see it to fruition.
kevin said…
"It rolls good with angry bee sound"

Chris King hubs are the dopest sounding hub in the land.

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